All About Armstrongism has an article up about religious hucksters who abuse members and take money to build huge monuments to themselves without any consequence. Commentary: Should Religious Hucksters Get A Free Ride?
We have all seen in Armstrongism the hucksters who tell their members the end is here and to send in all their money for a final push and then the hucksters turn around and build huge monuments to themselves like Flurry and Pack are doing. Hundreds of millions of dollars in tithe and offering money are going down the tubes to build huge campuses, auditoriums, and gardens while the sheep are struggling to survive. Clarion Calls and "final push" letters constantly go out to con members to send in more and more money.
Then these same hucksters turn around and destroy members lives with absurd policies and regulations that destroy marriages, break up families, ruin friendships and destroy businesses.
Those that suffer at the hands of religious entrepreneurs suffer greatly. There are accounts of those who have been left with nothing under techniques of brainwashing, techniques of mind control, and techniques of threat and intimidation. Those who suffer at the hands of religious financial hucksters have lost their assets, their well being, and have suffered depression, guilt, shame, and anger. Some have resorted to worse measures, and have become victims of divorce, separation, and in some cases, suicides. And many of these churches and organizations claim 501 (c) 3 filing status for tax exemptions.
The right and the freedom of religion should by absolutely no means or by no measure of any form be removed under any circumstances. However, Those who abuse their financial responsibility as a leader who are responsible for the spiritual and moral care of those under their care, should be dealt with in a manner of justice as any other person in any other corporation, profit or non-profit. Increased financial accountability is something I no longer believe should be an option. Increased financial accountability is something I see as mandatory for churches that claim 501 (c) 3 filing status.
I also believe that it should be a serious offense, in any non-profit organization that is a 501 (c) 3 status religious organization and claims to be such, to threaten, intimidate, bully, or extort contributors, may it be members or non-members, to give or face any form of consequences, and I believe penalties should be stiffened for those who do so.